Elijah Cross is a musician, magician and comedian based in York, Pennsylvania. Originally from California, he is an alumnus of the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, where he began playing music and acting in stage productions. While still in high school, he began working as a professional magician, and shortly after graduating, he was booking music and comedy club gigs in New York. His stand-up comedy act has earned him comparisons to Steven Wright, Demetri Martin and Mitch Hedberg.
After a period of traveling the country, which included a very brief deal with Geffen Records in the band Price, and honing an award-winning comedy act that would become praised by Conan head writer Brian Kiley, Elijah settled in York in 2011, portraying Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Strand-Capitol (Appell Center) the same year. In 2013, he joined the Big Dogs of Comedy Tour, which performed at locations owned by Heritage Hills. In 2014, he appeared on FOX 43 performing his music, and built a following by playing local venues. The next year, he was the opening act for Rusted Root’s Michael Glabicki and Dirk Miller in Hanover.
In 2016, he released his debut album, Here’s the Skinny, which showcases a gifted writer who grew up studying legends like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Carole King, as well as more recent artists like Aimee Mann and Elliott Smith. It’s a set of music that the folk legend Linda Perhacs has called “sterling”. The album blends elements of a variety of genres, from rock, pop and folk to jazz and gospel, but remains a cohesive set, thanks to Cross’s own style appearing on each track, and the production by Fernando Perdomo.
“My favorite songs are by people who very obviously put the songcraft first,” he says. “I want to make albums for people who still like to set aside time for listening from beginning to end, reading the lyrics – making the songs the moment, not the accessory to something else that’s happening in that moment.”
As a performer who has also been diagnosed with major depression and anxiety, Elijah has a strong commitment to helping others get the mental health treatment they need. In 2017, he combined his music, magic and comedy in RISE, a show at The Pullo Center, which raised $2,500 for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) York.